A new business offering local vendors an opportunity to sell their wares in one location opened recently here in Grand Forks. Exhibit A Artisan Market Place opened in November 2015 just in time for the Christmas season.
“We have spaces here that artisans and crafters rent and display their products,” said owner CloAnne Morasse. “It’s a constantly evolving change of products, gift and other items for people to come in and purchase.”
Morasse said the artisan/crafter does not have to be in the building selling their products.
“It’s not a craft fair, it’s more of a real estate storefront,” she said. “It’s a market place. You bring your stuff in and we sell it. The crafter or artisan rents their space and pays a small commission for sales.”
Morasse said they have about a dozen shops set up at Exhibit A currently. She expects that number to expand once they are able to finish renovations.
“We have three more spots reserved for the next month or so,” she said. “In February we will have room for 12 additional vendors. There will be a total of 30 vendors or artisans in here at that point with the potential for expansion after that.”
Morasse said she is still looking at making improvements to the location including putting in a stained floor and a row of booths down the centre in the upcoming months.
“We’ll also do some painting and some decorating,” she said.
Morasse’s Exhibit A Artisan Market Place shares the old What About Bob’s/T&T building with her husband’s Indigo Wood wood carving business.
The couple have lived in Grand Forks since 2005. They came to the Boundary from Squamish where they operated a store for about 15 year.
“We were driving through one day and it just called to us and felt like home,” said Morasse. “We decided to check it out. We spent about a year looking at places and finally found a spot we wanted and purchased it and made the move.”
Morasse said they love the sunshine and the friendliness of the people as well as the ever-present deer. “I’m really appreciative of the response from people in the short time we’ve been open,” she said. “The vendors are all excited and they are helping to spread the word.”
Morasse said Exhibit A has a variety of different crafters and artisans in place. She said they do have seasonal ones that have moved on but she stresses they are always adding new vendors and new products.
“Most of them here have signed on long-term,” she said. “They’ve signed on for a year with renewal options after that. We have three-, six- and 12-month options. We have crafters come and go. It will always be evolving as far as what is in here.”
Morasse said that she has already had a great response from the community. “I’ve had an amazing response already,” she said. “We’ve had a steady stream of customers come in to the store. People are responding well to the idea of being able to come in and find the crafter or artisan that they’re used to around here. The crafters and artisans are excited themselves to be able to have a space to show their stuff and that they don’t have to be here to sell it.”
Exhibit A has a variety of crafting and artisans wares including knitting, wood turning, high end sewing, jewelry, pajama bottoms, and much more.
The store is currently open from Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.